ASHburn, Va. -- Last month, LaRon Landry missed minicamp because of a paintball injury. This month, he missed the first four days of training camp because he had yet to sign a contract.
On Tuesday, the No. 6 overall draft pick from LSU was finally on the field again, having signed a five-year contract worth about $41.5 million, including roughly $17 million in guaranteed money.
"I've got a lot of catching up to do," Landry said. "I've got a lot of hard work to do."
Landry is expected to form a fearsome tandem with Sean Taylor. Landry will play strong safety -- once he's earned the starting job -- and Taylor will play free safety. "I think that's the best safety combination ever," Landry said on the day he was drafted in April.
On Tuesday, the setting and the attitude were more humbling. Landry had to do 40 "up-downs" -- an exhausting exercise that involves throwing the body on the ground repeatedly -- at the start of practice and then worked mainly with the backups, although he did run some plays alongside Taylor.
"Good to have him here," coach Joe Gibbs said. "But it's hard to get an impression on one practice."
Landry didn't have much to say after the workout. He said he had been pushing his agent to get a deal done, and that he hasn't decided how he'll spend his newfound riches. He said he has been working out at LSU, but that didn't prepare him for the hard work of his first day.
"The change of pace was pretty hard," Landry said. "As practice went on, I got into it."
Landry laughed but didn't say much about his paintball injury -- a shot to the groin that happened during a team-building outing before the June minicamp. He said he was hit by "friendly fire" but claimed not to know the name of his assailant.
"Hopefully I can meet him on special teams," LaRon said.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)